Emory Report

January 26, 1998

 Volume 50, No. 18

Construction set to begin
on new $57 million CDC lab

Heavy construction is slated to begin this week on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new $57 million laboratory, but CDC officials said Emory employees can expect "minimal" disruption along Clifton Road.

The new lab, a 182,000-square-foot facility that will encompass state-of-the-art laboratory and office space for some 285 employees, should be finished by December 1999, according to George Chandler, CDC special assistant for facilities.

"The construction is on the interior of the existing CDC campus, along with the staging area, so we don't anticipate any overflow onto nongovernment property," Chandler said. "There probably will be some congestion issues with deliveries-cement trucks, construction materials, that type of thing-but we're going to try to time that as much as possible to be before the morning peak hours, and all the construction materials will be stored on-site."

In fact, some vehicular traffic could actually be reduced since the CDC will lose the use of about 400 parking spaces for the duration of the project. Those employees will park off-site and be transported to the main campus by shuttle bus, Chandler said.

Earle Whittington, Emory senior project manager for planning and construction, said he is not familiar with the exact details of the construction plans, but he did say he and the campus master planners have worked with CDC officials and are taking future growth of the organization into account in the master plan.

"We're trying to do everything we can to reduce the traffic on Clifton in anticipation that we know the CDC is going to increase the number of cars in that corridor," Whittington said. "The only thing we can do is everything we can; we can't deal with their traffic."

Chandler said he has tried to keep Emory informed of the CDC's growth plans, and because the CDC is a government organization, he is required to do so. He added that under the National Environmental Policy Act, the CDC must consider major growth plans of neighboring large organizations when drawing up any major expansion plans of its own.

"Actually, we've been working with Emory for quite some time to try to coordinate some issues, mainly traffic, but also just things like 'What are you planning? What are we planning? What are the future directions?'" Chandler said. "We have a good relationship with Emory, and the University's been very cooperative in working with us on these things. We will continue that."

The new CDC lab is the first of a two-phase expansion project, though the second phase has not secured funding approval yet. If approved, the second phase would add another 92,000 square feet of space.

"This is allowing us to decompress some of our existing facilities," Chandler said of the expansion. "We haven't had a new lab here since 1986, but we have been growing, and there's all kinds of issues today stemming from infectious diseases. CDC's on the cutting edge of that, and this will allow us to get some folks out of our existing, overcrowded facilities into a modern, state-of-the-art lab. It will just give us a little bit of breathing room."

-Michael Terrazas

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